Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Lecture 2 - Ideas and Opportunities

It is better that you evaluate the ideas before you launch yourself rather than to waste time and money discovering you have made a mistake some way down the line.

Are you working in an enabling environment? Silicon Valley is a cluster of expertise and entrepreneurship where people collaborate and share values to make innovation happen.

Are you aware of what is going on in your world, or the world of work you are trying to enter? Locally, Nationally and Globally? How do you know if you are aware or not?

Read two significant news sheets every week – a serious newspaper and a RELEVANT magazine.

3. Do you have an interesting idea?

4. Is it an opportunity?

What is an idea?
Occurs any time
To anybody
Seldom materialise.

But many rush forward to develop the idea without taking the time to analyse, explore, survey and then find that the idea doesn’t fly or that the money was not in place at the right time.

You are aware of what is going on around you and the time is right to take advantage ofr it

2. You are in an enabling environment

3. You have the resources to make it happen

What is an opportunity?
Environmental factors merge
The right conditions
The right place/time.

Some inventions were not as good and successful as they are today, for example, the helicopter, machine gun, parachute etc. all invented by Da Vinci.

Some people have amazing ideas, however they may not fit in with the economy at the time, amazon was around for 10 years before it was a success, then they picked up on what customers needs and wants and this helped to make them successful.

You can apply these questions to your own project work. For instance, if you are creating a site specific installation piece, you might consider what environmental factors you should accommodate in order to get an appropriate response from your audience.

What site specific political issues should you be aware of?

What are the local economic conditions you want to respond to or reveal?

What cultural aspects of society in that place are you picking up on?

What are the economic factors that will make this project possible?

Concord was a very successful invention - it cut flights by over half the time. This answered issues at the time because there was no internet, phone calls were slow and could only carry a certain amount of calls at a time, the fastest means of communication was telegraph and there fore the only reliable means of communication was face to face. Concord helped connect people together faster.

Technology progressed and the first fibre-optic cable was laid across the Atlantic in 1988 which increased call capacity by 1000%. Jumbo jets increased capacity for transatlantic flight which increase trade and reduced travel costs. All of these things were successful because of political and social conditions.

You have to be aware of what is happening 'out there' not just what you think is 'out there'.

PEST analysis:

What kind of creative am I?

managerial - opportunistic
caution - risk
evolution - revolution

There are roughly three types of entrepreneur.

The owner worker

Pros. – you practice your own aret in a solitary manner and are totally in control of every aspect of your work

Cons:- It is easy to fall into the ‘creative labourer’ trap. Your income will be limited by time, health and interruptions.

Owner manager

Pros:- your role is more diverse and you meet more people. You can develop talent in others and they enable you to generate more income. It is easier to control quality at arms length.

You have less time to do your own creative work. You have to think for others. You become a manger of people.

Owner Entrepreneur

You direct the creative work of others and orchestrate a number of different income streams so if one income stream fails, there are still others to keep you afloat. You can take more holidays and relax doing your own creative work.

Sometimes the opportunities you identify do not bring any income. Sometimes risks lead to disasters.

Where do opportunities come from?


Technical developments

Political change

Economical boom and slump

Human need



Post-it notes were invented by accident when a man trying to create a strong glue created a very tacky glue which didn't dry.

Technology PUSH means that new products that have emerged through the development of new technology are presented to the market without necessarily knowing how successful they may be

Market PULL means that products are developed in respnse to market demand for change.

However you don't have to invent, you can innovate design.

What is required by whom and by when

Gain client trust and convince people to invest in your innovations

Lateral thinking, holistic thinking and 3-D visualisations

PEST analysis

Know your suppliers, develop relationships and make them your frineds

Create a system that works for you and that helps you to communicate ideas to others

Be connected, network and know who can help you achieve high quality solutions

Define the quality of work required. Never entrust this decision to others because your reputation is on the line.

Opportunities can simply arise from these aptitudes because you, or others, recognise that you can put things together in a better, more effective, more imaginative and more convincing manner to achieve higher quality results. This is the most common opportunity that is developed. Some people think that entrepreneurs are heroes with massive personalities but actually, they tend to be quiet, hard working people who are sometimes a bit dull. Richard Branson, James Dyson and Sir John Hegarty are perfect examples of that.

How do you know if your idea is good?

Look at your competitors - how many are there, how well are they doing, what do they do well, what could they improve upon?

if there are existing products like your are they successful, if not would innovating make any difference to it's success?

Assess the quality of opportunity

How will it affect your personal life, where you live, your family and your work / life balance?

How will you affect the customers’ quality of life or businesses

What beneficial effect can you have on your local, national and global environments?

Stakeholders can be organised in these three brackets.

The internal environment in a business / practice

This may just be you. Or may be 10 people who work together

The Micro environment

These are the stakeholders who are just on the periphery of your ‘world’

They are affected by your success or failure

The Macro environment

These are stakeholders or factors which are beyond your control

They are not directly affected by your success or failure but by the cumulative effect of many successes and faillures

You may be significantly affected by these factors beyond your control

Who else is affected by your business? For example, if we look at Leeds City Art Galery, who can you say is affected by its activities? These people are all stakeholders.

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